Thursday, February 12, 2009

Will the Kindle 2 start a Fire?

Molly Wood from cnet.com reporting from New York City, and the unveiling of the Kindle 2, overviews the second installment of the Amazon e-book reader. In continuing the process of digitizing our society, the Kindle 2 looks to improve the feature set over its predecessor.

At a price tag of $359, Amazon grants you access to over 200,000 book titles that can be bought for a fee, and unlimited free newspaper and periodicals. It also has access to a specific netowork connection called, EVDO. Free access to this network is unique because other devices that connect like Sprint mobile devices, charge monthly fees.

Using 16 shades of grey to generate text and images, the battery life has been increased, and an improved interface are also part of the new Kindle.

At the unveiling in New York, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos demonstrated the product, and then opened the stage up to Stephen King. He sat in front of an audience reading an except from his upcoming book.

I have a feeling that the Kindle 2 will help the progression of increasing the popularity of reading books on mobile devices. Eventually, I see a slew of competitors, most likely adding applications for iPhones, iPods, and smart phones. Although there will be an increase of e-book usage, the printed word will not completely obsolete.

In a video (which I would post here, however can no longer find on cnet) Stephen King talks about the Kindle and what it means to the publishing industry. To paraphrase his opinion, King states that the e-book format is just an additional channel to absorb the printed word. Much like an actual book or an audio book, it does not matter how people read/listen to a story. He knows that as long as there is a good story, then people will still be reading. Whether it will be done more through the digital realm in the future, the Kindle 2 gives us another look ahead.

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